Kreiz said the movie — a live-action flick headlined by Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken — could be a legacy-making event for the company that has made consumer toys for decades but is now venturing into the content space.
"That will be a catalyst," Kreiz said on Yahoo Finance Live at the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference (video above). "This is the first time that Mattel is putting a movie out based on any of our [intellectual property], any of our franchises. Barbie is clearly an important brand. It's one of our three power brands, and it will be in many ways a showcase for the quality of the movies that we're looking to make, the type of partnerships we're formulating with lead talent in Hollywood, working with major studios."
Kreiz confirmed that Mattel has 14 content projects in development including a Warner Bros. (WBD) movie based on toy car brand Matchbox.
The Barbie movie continues Mattel's efforts to keep the storied Barbie brand culturally relevant.
For International Women's Day in March, the Barbie brand released three new dolls representing top business leaders the Wojcicki sisters. In April, Mattel inked a Barbie apparel deal with specialty retailer Gap (GPS) that will hit stores on May 23, just weeks before the movie's release.
All of this comes after the Barbie brand generated a solid $1.5 billion in gross sales in 2022, according to Statista.
Despite the efforts on Barbie and other catalysts in the doll category this year, such as a new license for Disney's Frozen, Mattel's stock has been under pressure.
Shares have lost 27% in the past year as consumers pulled back on discretionary items amid record-high inflation and a slowing economy. Mattel's first quarter sales fell 22%, and the company said it was still working to clear excess inventory.
Kreiz thinks the second half of the year will tell a different story for Mattel, however.
"It's too early to tell how the holiday season will shape up, but we have some meaningful drivers from Mattel for the full year," Kreiz added.
Barbie movie included.